Why now did Hutchinson decide to drug-test welfare cases statewide? Politics, Democrats think. | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Why now did Hutchinson decide to drug-test welfare cases statewide? Politics, Democrats think.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 23, 2016 at 11:23 AM

I'm hearing that Gov. Asa Hutchinson's late afternoon release Tuesday of his intention to go statewide with a legally questionable drug-testing requirement for certain welfare recipients might not have been coincidental.

I read it as public relations for his larger offensive to get the Obamacare Medicaid expansion continued by styling it as a get-tough-on-welfare-recipients plan — with co-pays, insurance savings accounts and work training programs.

But it also, I'm urged to consider, may be simple unhappiness with Democrats — who opposed drug-testing in the first place . Why. Because they have not fallen unanimously into place like a herd of sheep on his plan for a special session on the Obamacare continuation. The Hutchinson agenda has three parts: Obamacare's continuation (or Arkansas Works, as Hutchinson would rename it); imposing managed care on big swaths of conventional Medicaid programs, and a "provider bill of rights." This last is a means to protect health providers from undue slashes through managed care and hopefully win their support for the changes. (Note that there is no patients' bill of rights in the Hutchinson agenda.)

Hutchinson presumes the Democratic minority — being good welfare state sorts  — will throw in with him on everything. He's learned that they are reluctant. Democrats bridle at giving Hutchinson the votes and getting nothing in return, except political assaults in November from Republicans who brand them Obamacare supporters. They particularly resent the nothing-for-something deal offered by Hutchinson when a significant number of Republicans in the House and Senate aren't ready to endorse the Obamacare extension. Democrats think a couple dozen House Republicans at last whip count weren't ready to vote for continuation of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion.

Democrats think Hutchinson should get his own house in order before marching to victory on the backs of Democrats. They think the 11th-hour expansion of unconstitutional drug testing of working poor is their punishment for not folding. If so, it appears to have been counter-productive.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (17)

Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Special master clears minimum wage initiative

    Special Master Sam Bird said today that the proposed minimum wage initiated act had sufficient valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The Arkansas Supreme Court will review the decision and make the final call.
    • Sep 24, 2018
  • Monday: Open line and the news

    The open line and today's headlines.
    • Sep 24, 2018
  • Special master finds term limits signatures insufficient

    A special master has concluded that petitions to put a term limits amendment on the November ballot were insufficient because 14,810 signatures shouldn't be counted, mostly for discrepancies in complying with a law that applies to paid canvassers.
    • Sep 24, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Tom Cotton's influence on Trump's new security chief

    U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is getting credit for pushing President Donald Trump to select Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, Politico reports.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • The LR chamber does the public's business. Is it accountable? Blue Hog on the case.

    Matt Campbell, lawyer and Blue Hog Report blogger, has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Jay Chessir, director of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Mark Stodola related to the publicity stunt yesterday  built around withdrawing from the mayor's rash pronouncement that the city would seek an Amazon HQ2 project even though the city  didn't meet the company's criteria.
    • Oct 20, 2017
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Slideshows

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation